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Has eco-complete changed?

Viv

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19 Feb 2011
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Kent
I bought a bag of eco-complete about 2 years ago and it was 100% black. Recently I bought another 6 bags and it has orangey grains in it along with the black. Is this due to a change in the substrate? Plants and fish seem happy with it but I was wondering what the difference is. Any ideas?

Viv
 

ceg4048

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I bought a bag of eco-complete about 2 years ago and it was 100% black. Recently I bought another 6 bags and it has orangey grains in it along with the black. Is this due to a change in the substrate? Plants and fish seem happy with it but I was wondering what the difference is. Any ideas?
They are just digging the dirt from somewhere else, that's all. If any of the propaganda on their website can be believed, the only hint of rational behavior is the admission that the raw material they are now using is basalt rocks. Whatever iron is in the basalt is oxidized, so the red color is just rust. It's still obscenely overpriced for a basically inert and un-enriched substrate which performs not much better than cat litter.

What's particularly obnoxious about the propaganda on that page Eco-Complete Planted is that they draw a false connection between basalt rock and the fertility of Hawaiian soils, completely ignoring the fact that the soils on those islands owe their fertility to weathering, to clay inclusion, to volcanic ash, and to organic humus, not much of which is present in their bag of basalt rocks. There are lots of different soils on the Hawaiian Islands which have high fertility. Basalt is more of a construction material because it's almost as hard as granite. This is the stuff that some types of lava are made of. So you can get Lava rocks and crush them up for a lot cheaper than this stuff.

Yet another construct of the neural, interactive programming we call; The Matrix.

Cheers,
 

Conger

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I'm guessing you're not keen on eco complete Clive..? ! :)

Actually I had decided to use it myself (the fine type) as I don't want a soil/substrate that I'll need to replace after a few years, but want something with high CEC. And dark in colour, not light or red. A dark akadama or moler clay sounds ok, but they're all too light/red in colour for my taste. Is there a better alternative?
 

kevin1962

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16 May 2013
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I'm guessing you're not keen on eco complete Clive..? ! :)

Actually I had decided to use it myself (the fine type) as I don't want a soil/substrate that I'll need to replace after a few years, but want something with high CEC. And dark in colour, not light or red. A dark akadama or moler clay sounds ok, but they're all too light/red in colour for my taste. Is there a better alternative?
I have seen a darker coloured bonsai soil made i believe from crushed lava, it's almost black in colour but looks very sharp so may not be suitable for fish rummaging about in it
 

livewire

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1 Dec 2012
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Bristol UK
I know Clive is not a fan but so many people have used eco complete with great success it must be reasonably good.
 

Viv

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19 Feb 2011
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Location
Kent
Thanks for the replies :) I realise it's only an inert substrate but I also didn't want to be changing it out after 6 - 12 months. and liked the sound of the nutrient exchange (is that the CEC? :oops:). It also has small 'grains' with smooth enough edges to not bother the corys or loach. Anyway, I'll get a photo when the lights come on just in case anyone else is thinking of using it and want to see :)

Viv
 

ceg4048

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I'm guessing you're not keen on eco complete Clive..? ! :)
Well, yes, I have used the old style and evaluated it's performance against molar clay and other products. It worked as well as any inert clay substrate but was 5X the price. If you want to pay that kind of money then it would be better to buy an enriched substrate like ADA Aquasoil or The Oliver Knott equivalent because those sediments have an equally high CEC, plus they are packed with NPK, traces and humus material such as peat. ADA Aquasoil has approximately 100X EI levels of nutrients, so at that price, buying lava is a raw deal.

Actually I had decided to use it myself (the fine type) as I don't want a soil/substrate that I'll need to replace after a few years, but want something with high CEC. And dark in colour, not light or red. A dark akadama or moler clay sounds ok, but they're all too light/red in colour for my taste. Is there a better alternative?
Yes mate I totally agree. Those are all good reasons, but it's always important to have eyes wide open when deciding. I never regretted my use of EcoComplete because I dose the water column. But if someone did not understand that water column dosing or enrichment using Osmocote was important when using this product then they might have issues without realizing the cause. The water column dosing does the bulk of the work, and later, when organic waste accumulated in the sediment, like it always does, the sediment became productive. I only regretted the price and the marketing hyperbola, that's all.

I know Clive is not a fan but so many people have used eco complete with great success it must be reasonably good.
Yes, and this also has the potential for being an optical illusion. When people have success using any product, it's very easy to attribute the success to the product alone instead of attributing success to the sum total of all products being used as well to the techniques and practices that the hobbyists undertakes. There are plenty of failed tanks out there where Aquasoil or EcoComplete is being used. Should the failure be automatically be blamed on the sediment?

Again, review my previous post. It isn't that I'm not a fan of EcoCoplete. It's more that I'm not a fan of propaganda and delusion. Look at the very name of the product. Look at the total horseradish posted on the webpage. The product has the word "complete", yet it's far from being complete because it does not contain NPK. If it was being sold at a lower price more in keeping with it's capabilities then that would be fair. If it doesn't outperform cat litter then it should not be priced 5X higher than cat litter.

Here are plants rooted in EcoComplete, dosed with high level of water column nutrition, strong flow and high CO2. It would be foolish to conclude that EcoComplete alone is responsible for this performance, rather, it would be more accurate to conclude that EcoComplete had no deleterious effects on performance. If you really want to check the performance of any sediment then use RO water (to eliminate tap water nutrients) and do not dose the water column. Turn up the CO2 and lighting and see what happens to the plants. Then you will see the difference between inert substrates and enriched substrates, and you will have a quantifiable assessment of the worth of any given sediment.
8395192888_e2cec1da01_c.jpg



Cheers,
 

livewire

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Bristol UK
I believe what you are saying, so do you think i could ask Caribsea for a refund because they have miss sold me their product?

Surely what they are doing is illegal?
 

ceg4048

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Well, I don't know about the legality. In any case, all they would have to do is show similar evidence of successful plant growth using their product. We just have to do our homework and always question the claims of any advertisement. I mean, is the cat food at Tescos really the best nutritional choice for your cat as it says in the advert? I'm sure your cat would be better off eating rats, but good luck with that. I think is easier to buy the cat food, and it's the same with the substrate. Get some Osmocote or any slow release fertilizer and line the bottom of the tank with it, throw small amounts peat of dried vegetable matter in there and put the substrate on top, viola, instant enriched substrate with all the advantages mentioned by conger in post #5.

Cheers,
 

SalvadorNL

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8 Apr 2013
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Cambridge UK
Hi Clive,

I wish I read all the truth about Eco-Complete before.

I recently bought Eco-Complete because of its looks. And had read about all those people having good results with it. I was pondering over either Eco-complete or Flourish onyx. Now I know both these substrates are inert and would not buy them again because of all the bla-bla nonsense they tell you. I also don't like it for planting.

The red pieces in the substrate, which are a new addition to the substrate as far as I'm aware, look like destroyed clay pots they mixed in. Perhaps to actually reach their claim for iron and CEC, that is just my view on it (these pieces are not very hard and can be broken up.).

When I was young (about 12) I used broken up lava rock as a substrate and that worked pretty well in combination with undergravel filter (all low-tech). This is not lava rock for sure.
 

roadmaster

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Could be people ARE having success with Eco-complete.?
I used it for a year but in honesty,,could not see anymore growth than with plain gravel.
Added weekly fertz with both, and result's were about the same.
Have had better performance from sand over soil.
 

SalvadorNL

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8 Apr 2013
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Cambridge UK
Could be people ARE having success with Eco-complete.?
I used it for a year but in honesty,,could not see anymore growth than with plain gravel.
Added weekly fertz with both, and result's were about the same.
Have had better performance from sand over soil.

I don't think it is any more than fancy gravel. Especially after reading Clive's comments.
Success differs, but I read a lot of positive feedback on Eco-Complete, hence I bought it.
However, I use root tabs and osmocote (not much though) and ferts. Plants are doing fine. Growth started day 1. Proper rooting took at least 4 weeks before it started, which makes me believe the detritus is essential to get the substrate working. Before that time (tank is now in week 7) roots only grew above the substrate, nothing in it. This shows to me that the root symbiont they claim are in it are pure nonsense, there is no rapid root growth.

I wouldn't recommend Eco-Complete, only for its looks and for the rounded shape to protect your bottom dwelling fish.
 

livewire

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1 Dec 2012
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To tell the truth I am using Eco Complete in 2 of my tanks and my plants do grow well in it, they also grew well in the inert gravel I was using before the Eco Complete. I am happy to keep using the Eco Complete for the time being and as it does have a high CEC so that should help feed the plants through their roots.

I will be using ADA Soil in my new tank so will be able to give my oppinion on that over Eco Complete in the near future, however I am going to have to get rid of my Peru Green Stripe Corrydoras before I swap to the ADA Soil :sour:
The sacrafices I make for my plants :meh:
 

SalvadorNL

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8 Apr 2013
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Location
Cambridge UK
To tell the truth I am using Eco Complete in 2 of my tanks and my plants do grow well in it, they also grew well in the inert gravel I was using before the Eco Complete. I am happy to keep using the Eco Complete for the time being and as it does have a high CEC so that should help feed the plants through their roots.

I will be using ADA Soil in my new tank so will be able to give my oppinion on that over Eco Complete in the near future, however I am going to have to get rid of my Peru Green Stripe Corrydoras before I swap to the ADA Soil :sour:
The sacrafices I make for my plants :meh:
What :wideyed:

You can just keep them in a separate tank for a while and put them back in after ammonia spike. Why can't they go with the amazonia? It isn't sharp or anything.
Nice fishes those are, wouldn't get rid of them.
 

livewire

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Bristol UK
What :wideyed:

You can just keep them in a separate tank for a while and put them back in after ammonia spike. Why can't they go with the amazonia? It isn't sharp or anything.
Nice fishes those are, wouldn't get rid of them.


I would love to keep them but they do rummage round a lot, so I fear they would be disturbed the soil to much :grumpy:
 

Henry

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20 Mar 2013
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Salford
Better still, pack the surface to the hilt with floating plants. They'll soak up any ammonia in the water column before it becomes a problem.
 
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